The Total Quality Framework (TQF)* contributes to the conversation in the qualitative research community by providing researchers with a way to think about their qualitative designs – along with strategies or techniques – for the purpose of enhancing the quality of research outcomes. The TQF is a comprehensive approach that considers all stages of the research process – from data collection to the final “product.” Recent articles in Research Design Review discussed two of the four components of the TQF – specifically, the Credibility component and the Analyzability component. The Credibility component pertains to data collection and consists of Scope (having to do with sampling and coverage) and Data Gathering (having to do with minimizing potential bias, nonresponse, and other factors that may weaken the validity of the data). The Analyzability component of the TQF is focused on the Processing of qualitative data (e.g., the quality by which the initial “raw” data is transformed) as well as Verification of research findings and interpretations (e.g., by way of deviant cases, peer debriefs, the reflexive journal).
The third component of the TQF has to do with the next phase in a qualitative research design – that is, reporting. When the data has been collected and thoroughly processed and verified, the qualitative researcher Read Full Text
Transparency plays a pivotal role in the final product of any research study. It is by revealing the study’s intricacies and details in the final document that the ultimate consumers of the research gain the understanding they need to (a) fully comprehend the people, phenomena, and context under investigation; (b) assign value to the interpretations and recommendations; and/or (c) transfer some aspect of the study to other contexts. Transparency, and its importance to the research process, has been discussed often in this blog, with articles in November 2009 and December 2012 devoted to the topic.
At the core of transparency is the notion of “thick description.” The use of the term here goes beyond its traditional meaning of
“describing and interpreting observed social action (or behavior) within its particular context…[along with] the thoughts and feelings of participants as well as the often complex web of relationships among them. Thick meaning of findings leads readers to a sense of verisimilitude, wherein they can cognitively and emotively ‘place’ themselves within the research context” (Ponterotto, 2006, p. 543).
to also include detailed information pertaining to data collection and analysis. Ethnography, for example, is greatly enriched (“thickened”) by the reporting of specifics in 25 areas related to the: Read Full Text
Research Design Review has discussed the idea of transparency on several occasions. Last month’s post, titled “Designing Qualitative Research to Produce Outcomes You Can Use,” briefly mentioned the contribution transparency makes to the ultimate usefulness of a qualitative research study emphasizing that full disclosure of the study’s details “empowers the reader of the research to make his or her own judgments as to the integrity of the research (Is it good research?) as well as its usefulness in furthering new ideas, next steps, and new applications.” The goal of transparency is to provide an audit trail in the final research document that allows the reader to duplicate the research (if that were possible), derive similar conclusions from the data as presented, or apply the research in other contexts. Transparency is important.
Transparency in the final document goes way beyond a simple account of the number and time frame when interviews, groups, or observations were conducted and a Read Full Text